But if something did happen, it happened. Whether it’s right or wrong. I accept everything that happens…says a character in Haruki Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore”.
Accepting the truth of the past, of the present is not always easy. We can hold on to resentment for things done to us, and we can hold on to frustration, guilt, or self-loathing for decisions we regret and perhaps ways we have hurt others. We can hold on to old and irrelevant relationship patterns (like taking responsibility for your adult children—a particular favorite of mine! not!) or old relationships. Or, another favorite of mine—taking responsibility for the stories others tell themselves about me.
And yet, some stuff is really hard to accept—whether it’s old trauma, new trauma, recent grief or sadness or chronic depression.
I think there’s got to be a balance there. An acceptance of what happened or even what is happening now and of one’s pain and struggles and of one’s desire to heal and sometimes not knowing how. Accepting the truth of what happened does not ask us to gloss over its significance; it simply reminds us that wishing for a different outcome does not help the healing. And it doesn’t help us find effective solutions.
So, yes, it’s a balance—seeing things as they are/as they were and with love and compassion finding our way to healthy and loving present.